Taken from IMDB: After his kid brother is killed in a street race, a champion drag-racer quits racing. However, a new kid comes to town determined to force him back into racing so he can take his title--and he's already taken his girlfriend.
August 17, 2019 Subject:
This film a 1956-production that traces the steps of a police officer who tries to fight teenage delinquency using ingenious means. The sympathetic officer is Lt. Ben Merril; he is committed to tackling the problem of teenagers who are used to drag-racing on the city’s streets, and so he sets up a dragstrip where they can engage in their favorite past-time under safe conditions. In one of the races, Steve Northrup is goaded into a street race, where his brother Jeff is a passenger. Steve dies in a crash, forcing Jeff to break all contact with the drag-race team as well as with his girlfriend, an avid fan of the sport. The movie transcends one genre because it incorporates elements of action and adventure, romance, and drama.
The film was produced by Norman T. Herman and directed by Leslie H. Martinson, and was based on a story originally written by John McGreevy. The production company was Nacirema Productions, one of the pioneer productions houses in the United States. The cast includes Lori Nelson who plays Lisa, Chuck Connors, Carolyn Kearney, Del Erickson, Frank Gorshin, Eddie Ryder, John Smith, and Fred Essler, among others.
Despite Lt. Ben Merril’s efforts to ensure safety for teenagers by having them drag on the strip, they rebel against him and his plans. Trouble begins for the group when a young boy on a bicycle is killed. The situation worsens when the teens exchange fisticuffs at a local joint called Yo-Yo’s. “Red Hot Girl” might have been poorly executed given the budget constraints of the time, but it still contains beautiful Californian scenery, exquisite cars, and the excellent acting of Chuck Connors. The film gives critical insights into the challenges that society faces in its quest to tame juvenile delinquency. “Hot Rod Girl” provides viewers with a chance to explore the fast-paced lives of young people in the 1950s.
What’s more, the film aptly captures the teen culture of the 1950s and challenges the notion that the decade was marked by feminine containment. The character Lisa shows that women were willing to challenge this notion through radically divergent approaches. Lisa is far from a passive bystander because she is part of the havoc that is wrought by the wild youths. Even though the unrestrained femininity sought to attract gazes from males, it also reflected the advent of young women into public leisure and commercial culture.
Production techniques entailed a combination of techniques, including field of view, special effects, and such. The field of view had long, medium, and close-up shots in various scenes and this served to underscore the authenticity of the film. The use of beautiful Californian scenery in some of the scenes authenticates the film. The movie further shows that by the 1950s, young women could access the unsupervised street life realm. The musical cues in the movie provide important insights into teen culture of the 1950s generation. In the scene that shows the teenagers’ hangout, the jukebox plays jazz, which shows that the genre had gained traction with teens. Some might argue that rock ‘n’ roll would have been the music of choice, but such a conclusion ignores the rich diversity of musical genres and styles that were popular with young people.
“Hot Rod Girl” provides important insights into the teen culture of the 1950s. Even though the acting and the production was not up to the highest level, the producers managed to capture the essence of street life as seen from the perspective of teenagers. The narrative is important because it reveals the emergence of young girls among the gangs in direct defiance of societal expectations. The producers did a remarkable job in representing the teen culture of one of the most important decades in American film history.(NF 136)